Today, at work, we had a presentation about using disposable washcloths. The idea is that, from now on, with every person who’s bedridden or needs to be washed in bed, we will be using these disposable washcloths.
There were a few points that they brought up that (according to them) are really important.
Firstly, these washcloths are a lot cheaper to use than normal washcloths and towels. One pack contains five washcloths and cost € 0,69. A quick search reveals that doing one load of laundry costs around € 0.92. So it appears to be cheaper. But how many washcloths and towels are in one load of laundry? Way more than 5, I can tell you that.
My second point is that they told us it was cleaner. While I can agree to that, the story was not all that it cracked up to be. They told us that we can use one or more packs a day. The clothes we don’t use can be kept up to 24 hours. After that we have to throw them out.
They have to be heated in a microwave. They’ve just told us that there are always germs all over the services we store things on and how it’s bad for older people to come into contact with those germs. So we put the package on a bedside table (germ ridden), open it, use what we need and store the rest in the bathroom. Then, when we need one again, we put the package (now germ ridden too) in the microwave and begin to wash again. After we’re done we put their food in that same microwave! When I pointed that out I got told that this wasn’t a problem as they were their own germs. This does not add up.
Thirdly, they told us it would be a lot quicker. They said we could safe 10 minutes on each client. Well, let me tell you this: I spend 10 minutes washing someone. No more. So, does this mean I can wash them in 0 minutes? It must be.
My fourth point is that they said people like the warmth of the cloth. Well, excuse me, but I never ever wash someone with cold water. I always use warm water and my clients are always happy with the temperature of the cloth! Towels I hang over the radiator to warm them up a bit before using. So again, I’m not convinced!
Fifth, they told us these clothes were tested against allergies. But they did not reveal the outcome of these tests. Now I might be way too suspicious, but I don’t trust any test results of tests carried out by people who had an interest in the product tested.
My idea of these things is that they are just plain horrible to use. They smell terrible, they feel terrible (okay, I only felt them cold, but I did not like touching them). And I fail to see how such a product will help our clients to feel at home. They’ve been using normal clothes and towels all of their lives and now they suddenly need to use disposable ones?
So, do you have any experience with these disposable washcloths? Do you like using them? Either for yourself or for others? Because I do not look forward to using them.
I’d rather use a nice fluffy washcloth and towel over the disposable ones.